I have said before that I spent a while in fundamentalist country before finding my way out to a gentler, quieter stream in the river of life. The preachers in the more fundamentalist style of the faith often seem to act as though they are competing with the evening news, or worse, “Everybody loves Raymond” The style of preaching is almost always volatile, exciting, rythmic and somewhat hypnotic. The usual goal of the speaker is to raise the hoary head of fear and then soothe the fear with “Jeeeesus, Jeeeeesus, Sweeeeeetest name I Know.”
The problem with living in that kind of fear was that most of the time, when I heard the voices, they were obviously of dark origin, and I could not get “above” fear based commentary. I have been quite fortunate not to have the voices that tell you to kill the neighbor, I think I would have been too frightened to move if those voices had spoken to me, mostly the fear would be aimed at an immobilization of anything I wanted to do. The kind of voices that make you agoraphobic, claustrophobic, xenophobic, and just plain phobic.
I did go through one of the “exorcism” prayer circles, it made no difference, other than that I started having remembered dreams of unpleasantness as well. It really was a frightening time in my life. I found that when I had backed away from that fellowship and began to concentrate on Proverbs and the sweeter Psalms, and God’s promises, that the fearful voices subsided and I had prayed for the help of the teacher spoken of in Chapter 8 of that book.
That was when the rainbow teacher began to come around. Her advice was to avoid the fearful preaching and simply lead a contemplative life. She it was who taught me that compassion was the most important lesson. She taught me how to fill my mind with good and kind thoughts and how to overcome the negative thinking that had been so much a part of my formative years. She taught me that high drama is seldom necessary, and that disciplined living that filled the mind, heart and life with higher truths was far more effective than exorcism, in fact the things she taught me were essentially how to exorcise one’s own dark demons from within. It was her teaching that silenced the dark voices.
OK, I will admit that this could quite naturally be some “higher” part of myself, (though I am not sure that the me that is me could reach as high as true compassion 100% of the time.)but then, according to Jewish teaching, we all carry a spark of the divine. I pray that it is the voice of that spark, or that that spark is the door through which she enters, as life has been a whole lot better with her teaching and encouragement. There is another kind of fear with which there is no choice but to deal, the authoress here has written quite well about it.